The Most Important Lesson From My MBA Program!

What a day I had yesterday. Two years of effort came to an end with the conclusion of my MBA program and some absolutely fantastic closing words from the professor. As I walked out of class, I could not help but feel a great sense of relief and happiness at the achievement of having completed the program from one of the most prestigious business schools in the world: The London Business School. My mind traveled back to when I was a teenager and had dreams of doing an MBA program in Europe. I would steal the economist magazine with the sole intention of turning to the back pages so I could review the ads of the big business schools. Thanks to London Business School I could do this at the age of 40 while continuing to maintain my family and work commitments.

And now the struggle, which became an inherent part of my life over the last two years, is over. Next month I will proudly walk through my graduation ceremony having those I love standing in the auditorium watching me. My parents, my beautiful wife and my wonderful children will watch me walk up and collect my degree in front of over a thousand people. It will no doubt be a very emotional moment for me, for someone who has carried this dream of doing an MBA since he was a kid.

However what I am most proud of in this journey is strangely enough not the degree itself. I started out on this journey wanting to complete an MBA and have ended up making some of the most awesome friends that I could have hoped for. Life has strange ways in sending you messages. I was arguably a workaholic obsessed with growing the businesses I have been blessed to lead but in the process had become a person that had forgotten the special moments that I had shared with the wonderful family that I have and the friends that I have made over the years.

The MBA program has taught me that a family that stands by you as you struggle is the foundation behind any successful person. But also it has taught me that friends are important, very important. I made sure I made this clear yesterday as we bid each other goodbye. I said bye to those that have taught me more than any MBA course could ever have. For some the goodbye from me was a tight hug, for others it was a high five and for some it was just an exchange of an eye glance that said what I wanted to say: thank you for being there for me and making this journey so special. Many a time you end up keeping things to yourself and miss the moment – I am as guilty of that as anyone but this time I said what I had to say and in the process have made some of my closest friends know who they are.

Most of my blogs carry a special message and I started this one not knowing what message it will end up carrying. Well as I see the over 35,000 hits that I have got on my blog pages, I cannot help but feel under pressure to impart some message from this experience. So the message for me is simple: do not take your loved ones for granted – be it your family or your friends. If there is someone out there that you had shared a special moment with and have lost contact with, pick up the phone and make that call to make sure that person knows just how special he or she is. Life is too short. Hug your loved ones, try and hug them tight and cherish the moments that you share with them.

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